Questions Questions Questions


I am all about embroidery.  My embroidery is on quilts, home decor, clothing, accessories, and so much more.  I love a machine like my Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker machine to do all the different embroidered projects I have in mind.  But, before I even go to the machine I have a million questions that go through my mind in deciding about the embroidery design and its use.

So often I hear my students complain that a design is no good.  The design may indeed be an issue but there are a multitude of other factors that can influence the outcome of the design.  I suggest the following questions be asked before you give up on an embroidery design.

Is the design digitizing a problem in itself?

Are you using the correct needle?  Is it dull and need replacing?  Correct size?

bobbin cases and needles

What stabilizer is needed to stitch the perfect design?

What is your fabric choice?  Quality of fabric, print too busy and detracts from design, etc.?

What threads are you choosing? (consider thickness, types, etc.)

Hooping? (correct hoop size, proper hoop technique used?)

Fluff build up in machine? (cleaned it lately?)


Using correct tension setting?

Bobbin case and bobbin thread selection? (Which case is correct for the project and what is the weight of bobbin thread are you choosing?)

Matching design properties to fabric type? (too dense/loose, drape of fabric affected?)

Consider placement? (use a template for correct orientation/alignment)

Multi hooping errors? (Do you know the correct techniques for multi hooping and are there multi hooping alignment stitches built into the design?)

Test stitch out of design? (good to do a test sew to correct digitizing errors)

Thread color choices? (color can add or detract from designs and blending different thread types like cotton, polyester, rayon, metallic, etc. can make for a messy confusing design)

Regular maintenance of machine?  (Fine tuning the machine by the dealer can aid in tension issues and timing problems being solved.  A well maintained machine stitches best results.)

If you are digitizing the design yourself, have you added push/pull compensation? (this helps with large areas not filling well against registration outlines.)


Are there enough underlay stitches? (Underlay stitches needed to stabilize material and help to lay down the large area fill stitches properly.)

Presser foot height clearance?  (Some fabrics and layered designs need a higher presser foot setting to clear the elements without creating drag while stitching)

Thread end cap usage?  ( Use the correct end cap to secure your upper thread in place and help to keep the thread from snagging on the spool ends.)

Locking the hoop in the carriage?  (If partially locked in place it can vibrate loose during stitching.  Make sure it is firmly locked before beginning stitching.)

No matter what machine you choose to stitch with, the embroidery designs can be influence by so much more than the machine choice.  Of course, you can count on Janome machines to stitch with perfection when they are properly maintained.



Posted in Janome creativity, Janome Embroidery | Tagged , , , , , ,

Tania cooks up another Christmas treat!

Hop on over to Tania’s website again this week as she has “cooked up” another Christmas treat for you, Gingerbread  last week. Plum pud this week. YUMMY ……full project instructions/tutorial are included on this link to her website. Thanks, Tania!

Powered by her Janome Skyline S7.

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What’s in your Toolbox?


Of course my most favorite tools are my Janome machines, but what about all the other support tools we use?

I think my second most precious tool is my computer with my designing software programs.  I love my machines, but I can make them do so much more by utilizing my programs.

Any Janome machine that has a USB port will automatically have the Horizon Link Software program specific to their machine that you load onto your computer and send information to your machine via a cable link or a USB stick.  There is loads of information on how to use the software on YouTube videos.

horizon link software

Since I am a machine embroidery enthusiast, I also love my digitizing software programs.   At this time, MBX is the Janome digitizing software full package program.  This is for the serious digitizer.  It has all the tools needed in the program to create professional results every time.  Look to Janome to come up with more digitizing program options in the future.


Janome also has apps for the iPad that sync with the Horizon MC 15000 line of machines. These apps help us to create, edit, transfer designs wirelessly to our machine.  Although the apps are limited in their ability compared to the full digitizing packages, they can do some amazing things.


Now with our new Janome Quiltmaker Pro 18 long arm quilting machine we have software to drive the robotics of the machine called ProStitcher Premium.  There are loads of YouTube videos also on how to use this new software program.

pro stitcher premium

I love all my software programs!  Janome makes it easy to choose whichever program I want to create my designs.







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How is the Christmas shopping going?………15 days left if you count Sunday shopping!

Now, yes, I groan along with you when people oh so cheerfully remind me how many shopping (or sewing) days I have remaining before I have to resort to a crisp banknote in an envelope or a hastily printed online voucher to a restaurant or a spa. Been there, done that and probably will be doing it again this year!


BUT……if you are in the market for a new sewing machine, there is still enough time left for you to cozy up to Santa and let him know which model you want?  Believe me,  I am surprized at how often a customer tells me that Santa gave her one machine model when  she would have preferred a different one. So be specific –  Santa has a lot on his mind!

Or maybe you want that roller tote for your sewing machine that you have had your eye on for a while?  Look at this link from a post earlier this year + ask your local Janome dealer who is bound to have sewing roller and carry totes on offer such as the lovely Tamara Kate ones or the Tutto totes.

Or maybe you figure you are going to need than Quilt Binder set as you have lots of quilts to bind?

You know what you are needing and wanting so whisper it,  or write it down on a Wish list ………and hope Santa is listening and reading!

As many of us are super pumped about one of the newest additions to our Janome line – the MC6700P – I thought you might like to check out what an independent home sewer has to say about this awesomely fabulous machine. Check this out. 

Maybe this machine will be under your tree this Christmas morning???


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Janome Horizon MC 9400 QCP Favorite Feature


Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts is one of our Janome Canada artisans who has been exploring the features of her Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP.

Janome 9400 Photo 1As Kim is a quilter, stitching an accurate ¼” seam is one of the most important features that she looks for in a sewing machine. The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP includes the new HP needle plate and foot. This straight stitch needle plate and foot set allows you to stitch a perfect ¼” seam, which is crucial when piecing a quilt.

Janome 9400 Photo 2

The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP still has the ¼ inch seam foot O included with it and you can certainly use this to piece your quilts. It includes a fabric guide along the right side of the foot and some quilters really enjoy using this particular foot.

Janome 9400 Photo 3

You can always rely on Janome products for precision perfect sewing.

 In Kim’s blogpost, she compares both of these feet so you can see how each work and can then make your own decision as to how you want to stitch an accurate ¼” seam with your Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP. You can view the video in her blogpost or on her YouTube channel.

Edited and posted by Yvonne Menear featuring Kim Jamieson-Hirst

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12 Days of Christmas

This  12 Days of Christmas song is stuck in my head.  It did get me to thinking of how many options, features, feet, and accessories I use on any one project I am making.  I feel I can use more than 12 things at one time to create my Christmas Project.


Start with your favorite Janome machine.  Mine is my Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker machine.  I can do anything I dream up with this machine and all its features.

bobbin cases and needles

Remember to use the Janome bobbin cases and Janome needles that go with our machines.  These ensure that you get perfect trouble free stitching every time.


I started my Christmas project selecting my fabrics and sewing them together with a perfect 1/4 inch seam using my Janome 1/4 inch foot with flange.  The flange aligns your fabrics perfectly for that precise piecing you need.


I wanted to add text to my Christmas door banner so I used digitizing software to create the text.  I wanted my text to be a fill stitch as it will be handled a lot over the years and I feel the fill stitches hold up better than satin stitches.  I could also arc my text design in my software and then send it to my machine for stitching.


I chose a variegated thread to stitch my text.  I always look for variegated thread that has a color change about every 1 inch.  Any longer lengths of color on the thread and you can end up with stripes when you stitch.


I love using applique to speed up the process of creating a project.  I chose to use my embroidery software to create this Christmas tree, but Janome has the Artistic Edge Digital Cutter that is amazing and works well to create an applique for those of you who do not have an embroidery machine.  You can easily use the applique with standard decorative stitches to create the shape you want.


Use your decorative stitches features on your machine with your favorite F or F2 foot to stitch the edges in place.  I often stack stitches along the edges for a different look.  I use a lighter weight thread for the accent stitches on the top.  Those stitches just add interest and do not need to follow the outline of the applique exactly.  The F2 foot is my favorite as it is open toe and I can see exactly where my stitches are falling.


I placed heavy metallic threads on my tree using the Cording Foot.  This foot has guide channels to hold the thread in place while couching it down.  You can also use thick threads in the bobbin and create the lines with a bobbin work technique.  The choice is yours.


Buttonholes are not just for buttons.  There are several styles of buttonholes on your machine.  Use a decorative button hole to create ‘ornaments’ for your tree.  Use your standard sewing foot (no need for the button hole attachment foot), and scatter button holes across the applique tree for decoration. The center of the hole area is a perfect place for more embellishment.


Listed under the button hole designs category on your machine, you will see a button sewing feature.  This uses the ‘T’ foot to hold the button in place as you zigzag from one hole to the other to quickly sew on your buttons.  The rubber grips on the foot hold the button firmly in place.  If you don’t have this feature, you can simply drop your feed dogs and use the ‘T’ foot with a zigzag stitch that aligns with the holes (usually about 3.5mm) and sew on your buttons for decorations.


Even if you don’t have two standard button holes, the ‘T’ foot will still work by stitching into one hole and then off the side of the element and back into the hole.  This makes for quick and easy application of baubles that are meant to be hand sewn.


I used hot fix Sawarsky crystals to fill the little circular space of my decorative button holes.  You could easily use glued on shapes or glue that has sparkles in it to fill the space for more interest.


I used scraps of felt cut into squares to make presents to sit under my tree.  I used my F2 open toe foot and some different 9mm decorative stitches to sew down my felt and add interest to the boxes at the same time.  I then added ribbons to the boxes with the same foot and used various decorative stitches to adhere them in place.  We have hundreds of stitches on our machines and it is a feature we rarely use.  Experiment with different stitches for a unique look for your designs.


I wanted to quilt my door banner so I called up my free motion quilting options on my Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker machine and noticed that I have several choices.  Each style/technique uses a different foot.  The machine tells me which foot I need to attach depending on the style of quilting I want to use.


I used all the different feet when quilting my door banner.  Those little QV and QO feet sure came in handy when I wanted to quilt closely next to my tree without bumping into the decorations there.


I used my embroidery machine to stitch out my label.  It was quick and easy to digitize in MBX 5 digitizing software..  Don’t forget, if your project is a gift or a keepsake, you will want a label to remember the time it was created.


Thank you Janome for all the features you build into your machines and the added products we can use to create the perfect project for the holiday season.

How many features, feet, and accessory products will you use to create your perfect holiday projects this year?




Posted in Artistic Edge 15 Digital Cutter, Janome Horizon MC15000 Quilt Maker | Tagged , , ,

What is “Ginger Quilts” up to on her blog?

Janome Canada Artisan, Tania Denyer over at Ginger Quilts , has “cooked” up a lovely Christmas treat (full instructions included) …...check it out.  

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Posted in Janome creativity | Tagged , , , ,

BOOK REVIEW: All New Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina

I received a rather nice surprize when a book arrived in the mail for me from Sandra Betzina. She had even signed the title page. Thanks, Sandra!

Naturally I snuggled up on the couch to read it……….

I do believe this book was published quite some time back – definitely 12 or more years ago. It seems to have been updated and republished by Taunton Press.



Back cover of the book.

Sandra Betzina and our very own Ron Collins (one of our Janome Canada Artisans) host Power Sewing – the popular PBS TV series as well as being available on DVD. An excellent source of great garment sewing information. I happen to own a gazillion of their DVD’s and I find them very useful and informative….as well as entertaining.

You might like to watch out for this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart and other book sellers. I have had a luxurious flip through from cover to cover and can recommend it. One of those books you will want to keep on your shelf for reference time & again.

Perhaps this book could be added to your Christmas wish list? Or alternatively you may wish to gift it to a special fabric loving friend?

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Shining the spotlight on Janome Dealer’s store……Findlays Vacuum & Sewing in Vernon, BC

You don’t need to be a huge store in order to have a great sewing machine business.  Recently, I traveled to Vernon which is a relatively small town in the mountains of British Columbia.  I went there to present a Janome Launch Party celebrating the new products for 2017.  What a lovely surprise to see so many interested customers that they needed two (2) sessions to accommodate everyone!

The shop that hosted me was Findlay’s Vacuum and Sewing Machines.   Tony and his staff and customers were all lovely people to work with for the day.  We were able to see the new Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker machine and the new MC6700P machine.  Customers who owned previous versions of these machines were impressed with the updates to both of these machines.

The Janome Launch Party 2017 presentation included several machines and samples made on these machines.  The customers loved to see the work that was stitched out and to be able to ask questions about the machines and how they worked.  It is so easy to sing the praises of Janome produced projects when the machines are an absolute dream to work with.

Have you visited your local Janome dealer yet to see these incredible new machines?



Posted in Janome Horizon MC15000 Quilt Maker, Janome MC6700P | Tagged , ,


Tamara Kate, one of our Janome Canada artisans, published a great post today on her radiant Maple leaf quilt. Hop on over to see what she has to say. 

You may have seen this wall hanging at Quilt Canada 2017 in the Janome booth? Either way, here is your chance to find out more with all the step by step tutorial instructions too!

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